Substrate production


The importance of a base

The substrate which is suitable for the growth and reproduction of mushrooms must provide the specific nutritional requirements for each mushroom species and be free of possible competitive fungi and bacteria.
For some mushrooms, e.g. the white button mushroom, a precise substrate has been developed through composting – the degradation of organic matter and subsequent pasteurization. However, specific precise substrates have not been developed for a large number of cultivated mushrooms. Therefore, rivaling agents must be eliminated by sterilizing the substrate.
There are mushrooms that can be cultivated with pasteurized substrates as well as sterile substrates; such as the oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus), the king oyster (Pleurotus eryngii), the shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes) …
Pasteurized and sterile Substrates


The pasteurized compost is the most widespread method to produce substrate for the farming of the white button mushroom and the oyster mushroom. These substrates are elaborated starting with lignocellulosic and proteinaceous material, such as cereal straw and different manure. The process consists of 2 phases:

  • Phase I or Fermentation: the moistening of raw material, mixture and subsequent degradation in controlled environments
  • Phase II or Pasteurization: the disinfection of the compost to eliminate competitors

Both phases are carried out in ventilated tunnels with paved floors and equipped with a specific regulation system.
The result is very homogeneous compost, and the output is uniform and high when used in the growing stage.
The inoculation with mushroom spawn is carried out when the composting process is finished.

Our job is to aid at the beginning of this activity and/or to improve an existing process. Together, we will progress and find the best adjusted solution for each individual farming need. Contact us to receive more information.

Manufacturing process for the Pleurotus ostreatus pasteurized substrate

A substrate is made in which the oyster mushrooms are able to grow and reproduce.

Oyster mushrooms need organic matter (e.g. straw) in a state of decomposition. The organic matter needs to be chopped and moisten in order to allow its degradation or decomposition to start and change rapidly.

When the degradation state is suitable, the next step is to pasteurize the substrate to disinfect it. The pasteurization is carried out in an interior ventilated space with a paved floor and equipped with a temperature and oxygen control system.

When the pasteurization is finished, the compost is inoculated with commercial spawn (seeds); the inoculated compost is packaged in units of 15 to 20 kg. which are called compost blocks.

Manufacturing process for the white button mushroom

The raw material utilized to develop the white button mushroom compost are; wheat straw, chicken manure, urea and gypsum.

The process is carried out in several stages: pre-wetting, mixture, phase I and phase II.

First of all, the straw is pre-wetting.

The composting process begins with the mixture of the raw material. In the mixing line, the straw bales are broken down and the rest of ingredients are added.

Phase I is when the microbial fermentation occurs, in which the initial mixture is transformed into a homogeneous mass rich in nutrients suitable for white button mushroom growth. It is carried out in tunnels with mechanical ventilation. Several tunnel changes are done in order for all of this mass to reach the same level of fermentation.

Phase II or Pasteurization Stage; The resulting compost from Phase I is pasteurized and prepared for the finished substrate, which is rich in nutrients for the selected mushroom and not appropriate for competing fungi.

When it is ready, the compost is inoculated with white button mushroom spawn and it is packaged and transported to the farming area.

If you wish more information about mushroom growing, look at this video made by Fungiturismo


The production of sterile substrates is scalable, which means that it allows the process to begin at a small scale and to grow from there. Furthermore, substrates for other mushrooms can be created in these same facilities.

If you wish to start work in this activity, get in contact with us. We can help you define the facilities, set up work methodology, develop manners …

If you are a substrate producer and you want to improve your methods, our extensive field expertise is at your disposal.

Various mushroom species grown in sterile substrates:

Manufacturing process for sterile substrate